Finland, Lifestyle, Travelling

Summer vacation in Oulu

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August is a perfect time to escape Spain. Days are unbearable at times, very hot and humid, so we decided it was the perfect time to go to Finland!

I hadn’t spent time in Finland during summer in a long time and I can tell that I really missed it. Finland is at its best during summertime and the beauty of the nature is astonishing. The air is fresh and in August you don’t have too many mosquitoes so you can spend a lot of time outside. We were lucky with the weather and we were able to do many things in the nature and bike around my hometown Oulu.

We had a very relaxing holiday, we were mainly sleeping, cycling and of course eating. I wanted to show my boyfriend the best spots in Oulu but also I wanted to spend time with my family as much as I could because we don’t see each other too often. I highly recommend you to travel to Oulu if you enjoy nature and you like to explore places by bike, it’s a very relaxed city. Oulu is wonderful to cycle around: there’s no place you can’t go by bike and if you can’t you don’t need to go there, there’s probably nothing.

I hadn’t even realised how well structured Oulu is until my boyfriend mentioned it. The city center is very compact and it’s easy to walk through. All the shops are nicely located and and whatever you try to look for, you can find it easily. It was really funny to explore Oulu with a person who comes from a city with 20 million people, Oulu is fairly small in comparison, it only has 200 000 inhabitants. He definitely had a different perspective towards things. Also introducing your hometown to someone is a great experience because you see your city from a different perspective. I highly recommend you to introduce your city to someone! 😀

During the summertime you can see that Oulu is much more alive than during winter. What my boyfriend noticed was that sometimes it feels like you are in a ghost town because there are not that many people outside. That was funny because during winter the experience is even more hardcore: there really is no one outside when it’s dark and cold. For the first visit I recommend summertime unless you are a person that enjoys cold and dark weather and likes to be alone. 😀

I  put together a list with a few “must do” things in Oulu, so here we go!

  1. Ride a bicycle, definitely the best way to explore the city and its surroundings. Just by cycling close to “Oulujoki” river you’ll have the best view.

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It’s a floating sauna + waffle bar that you can rent. I wouldn’t mind chilling there with my friends enjoying cold drinks and jumping into the river after sauna!

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2. Visit the “Ainolan puisto” park in the city center.

It’s just wonderful, I have nothing to add.

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When I was little I used to jump on these rocks and of course I had always wet feet after that.

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3. Visit the “Nallikarin majakka” lighthouse and the “Nallikari” seashore.

The beach is very beautiful and if you go there in the evening you can see a beautiful sunset! There is also a restaurant and a big spa (not in the lighthouse but close to it).

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4. Enjoy nature and roast sausages (the best ones are called “Kabanossi”) over a fire. We went to this place called “Koiteli” which is about 45 min away from Oulu. But there are a lot of places closer to Oulu too. Don’t forget to buy this mustard called “Turun sinappi” which is the best mustard ever made.

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5. Head over to “Snooker Time” bar.

Alcohol is very expensive in Finland so in Snooker Time you can get some cheap beer. 0,5 liters is 5 euros, wich is very cheap if you compare to other bars. I remember one time paying 10 euros for a beer in Helsinki city center! Also the toilets are entertaining in Snooker Time because you can find some nice “toilet art” there (love letters and cursing words + many other things, some of them are actually funny). The bar is in two floors and downstairs you can also play pool. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures. 😀

Address: Asemakatu 28, 90100 Oulu

6. Eat a tasty burger at Kauppuri 5 burgerbar.

I really love this comfy place and their burgers, the kitchen closes at 2:00 AM but I recommend going during daytime because the quality of the burgers is better, in my opinion. 😀 My favourite one is the goat cheese burger. Also the fries and the different flavoured mayos are very good.

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Address: Kauppurienkatu 5, 90100 Oulu

7. Take a picture with “Toripoliisi” the Market police.

When you go to the city center you can meet there a chubby police officer who takes care of the citizens. He is a very chill guy, when I was younger I saw some young people standing on top of him and drinking and he didn’t mind but then the real police came… So, don’t go too wild with the pictures!

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Thats it!

So now you have something to do every day at least for a week if you one day you end up in Oulu. There are a lot of other things to do and explore but those were just my favourite ones. I’m not a holiday expert but I’ve experienced some and I can tell that the best way to keep your holiday nice and relaxed is to only have one activity per day. If you try to do too many things you’ll miss the nice relaxed feeling that Oulu has to offer. People from Oulu are known as laid back nice people that speak a funny Finnish dialect.

So, go to Oulu, it’s a very nice place!

– Eeva –

 

 

 

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Lifestyle, Thoughts

Holiday thoughts

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After moving to a new flat, all I want to do is to spend time there. I know summer is the time when you should go out all the time and do things that you can’t do during the winter. But is it really like that?

I feel that everybody should spend their holidays doing the things they really want, not what they are expected to do. I think people put so much expectations on holidays that when the holiday actually arrives, it’s more stressful than stress releasing. I’ve never had expectations on my holidays and usually when I travelled I didn’t make plans and that was the key, after every holiday I truly felt rested. I slept long even though I knew that I would probably “miss out” something. Maybe, but in the end if I didn’t do it how can I know that I missed something out because in the end it never happened.

Life is all about gaining and missing opportunities. Previously it would make me anxious and especially missing opportunities would make me so anxious that I wasn’t able to enjoy the moment because I would already be thinking about the next activity. I would be planning my next trip when I was still on the way. I couldn’t just sit down and be. It’s really difficult. I still feel that I have a lot to learn but just even recognising that helps a lot.

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Whenever I start to feel restless or anxious I ask myself these questions.

What can I do to make this feeling go away?

Do I really want it to go away? Or am I secretly enjoying it because afterwards you always feel better and you know it?

What if I don’t do anything about it, how it would make me feel in long term?

And then I’m already going towards solution x because no one likes to be anxious.

And the brutal thing is that there’s no other way. Those feelings aren’t going away unless you do something about them, otherwise you just have to live with those feelings. I believe the solutions are there for everyone but sometimes it’s just hard to see them and it’s also scary to face them. This has to do with all types of situations, losing weight, breaking up, finding a new job, starting a new project, facing problems when travelling, chasing dreams and the list goes on forever. If you want to lose weight, it requires a lot of commitment, if you are not willing to do it, you just have to accept yourself as you are and stop complaining about your situation. Same if you are in a bad relationship, either you work for it together or you have to let it go. If you want to achieve something you have to ask yourself are you willing to work for it, if you are not, you have to lower your expectations and let go. Life doesn’t make sense if you just go through it eyes closed surrounded by problems that you created yourself.

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I think we should look for solutions all the time. Whenever you face a problem you have to start already picture the solution. If you spend too much time thinking about the problem and analysing it, you can get too deep into it and finding the solution can get harder. I know some problems are bigger than others and some problems can’t be solved and everybody faces problems in a different way: someone’s problem doesn’t seem like a problem to another person at all. But I think it’s important to stop creating trivial problems for ourselves because we all do that sometimes, complain about things that are not worth complaining about.

Whenever I read about how people get stressed on their holidays because they think holiday is the only time they can do things, I think they have already forgotten that having a holiday is that kind of luxury in their lives that they should be thankful for. If your stress comes out due to spending too much time on social media and seeing Instagram-stars having a better time than you, just think about it a moment: why are these pictures appearing to me? Did I choose to look at them? What can I do about it?

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I’ve been so relaxed just chilling at home cleaning and doing my little projects that I just wanted to share some thoughts. I know I could be at the beach or exploring my new neighbourhood or doing million other things. That’s also completely fine if someone is doing it. Since my Spring was really busy I decided that I really have to just stop for a moment. Spending my time at home has made me go through all those feelings that I wrote about above and I felt stupid because I really enjoyed doing my little projects at home and in the end everyone is able to spend their time as they want to and it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business. So if you really want to spend time at home even though you feel like the rest of the world is doing something else, do it. It doesn’t make sense to force yourself to do things that you don’t want to do. Trust me, you will have a chance of enjoying a sunny day, I’ve heard that the Sun won’t shut down in a while.

So, enjoy your holidays and don’t focus on unnecessary problems, holidays might not always be perfect, but usually they’re really nice.

Now I’m going to read a book, maybe outside or on the sofa, we’ll see.

Ps. I got a stomach bug while writing this post so I was forced to stay at home as well. 😀

– Eeva –

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Home, Lifestyle, Thoughts

How can two months disappear?

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The answer is easy: be as busy as you can.

These past two months have been crazy. So many things have happened and sometimes I’ve felt like a robot who is just doing everything on automatic pilot. I’ve tried not to overheat and not stress too much because everybody knows what happens when you do that. All the things that have happened have been nice things, but in order for nice things to happen you need to struggle a bit (or a lot).

But we all need some busy times to appreciate our “normal life”. I guess the definition of normal varies from person to person, but for me it’s that kind of life where I actually have time to think about what I’m doing and not just do things without thinking. Having a lifestyle where you can take your time to think about things may sound luxurious to many people but I believe it’s necessary to be fine with yourself, and I’d really recommend it to everyone. It’s very important because if you only go full speed forward and never stop to think, I feel that you lose your focus easily. What happens to me when there is a lot going on is that I start to focus on little things. For example I start convincing myself that cleaning is the number one priority even though that’s a big lie. You can clean later, there’s no cleaning police behind you.

So why am I talking about cleaning?

The biggest change is that we moved to a new apartment. I had a very ambitious plan to clean all our floors in a way that we don’t have to wear shoes at home and now the project is finished and I couldn’t be happier! That’s one thing I really missed from Finland. When I lived in Finland the best moment of the day was when I was able to leave my sweaty shoes at the entrance. I believe that now that the summer is here and the temperature is rising from day to day, nothing feels better than walking barefoot. Also the cleaning part in the future will be a lot easier. 😀

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When I was packing and cleaning I realised that this kind of lifestyle where you don’t own that many things is amazing. Most of the apartments that people rent here in Barcelona are already furnished and that makes everything a lot easier and more ecological. If you compare it to Finland (of course there’s furnished apartments in Finland but it’s not that common) here you don’t have to buy everything for your new apartment and rent a van to move your furniture around. It’s madness to start selling and buying your furniture all over again many times across the years. I know some people see themselves reflected in the things that they own and that the spirit of the apartment comes from what they’ve bought but I also believe that you can get used to everything that comes with a furnished apartment. Maybe in the beginning it doesn’t feel like it’s your home and you feel like the things around you are not completely your style but after a while I’m sure you will get used to things around you. I also think that we were lucky to have a furnished apartment so we were able to move most of our things by bike. We had to use a taxi ride only once. How convenient!

Moving to a new place is always stressful and I’m really glad that now we have a bigger apartment to do things. When you live in a small room, you don’t have that many options to do and you prefer to spend your time somewhere else rather than at home. I’ve been living many years in small rooms and I can tell that this is very refreshing. You can actually move your arms around freely and do all kinds of activities, like exercising in your living room. Simple things that probably many people take for granted. Don’t take it for granted, use your space when you have it.

All that I can say is: it feels good to have a home.

– Eeva

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